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    HR Resources | 6 min read

    Protecting Workers as Hiring Ramps Up in the QSR Industry

    2020 has been a whirlwind for most quick-service restaurants (QSRs) as most scrambled to adapt to the new normal brought about by the pandemic. With dine-in operations inevitably ceased, companies had to lay off many of their service staff and restructure their workforce to meet the changing needs of their customers. With the new year reigning in, however, the economy is looking more hopeful as the virus is slowly getting under control. 

    As mentioned in “The 2021 Great Rehiring” post, more QSRs are looking to reopen their business and hoping to recruit the right talent for their company. In fact, for the restaurant industry itself, 286,000 workers were hired in February. Simultaneously, countless Americans are also looking for a job to make up for lost opportunities in the previous year. Needless to say, companies have to rehire their staff as quickly as possible to get back on their feet and unemployed individuals are not just waiting around either. But how do you ensure that you are hiring fast enough whilst at the same time, not compromising the safety of your new and existing employees?

    In this article, we will be going through some of the ways in which you can hire safely and the best practices you can adopt to ensure that you are doing your part in eradicating the virus that has kept the world on its toes for far too long.

    Establish Due Diligence 

    First and foremost, it is important for you to stay updated with the latest government regulations pertaining to restaurant operations. We can never emphasize enough how critical it is for you to keep your employees and the public safe. The CDC Federal website provides some useful information which you may refer to. Do also take note that regulations may differ depending on the city or county you are in. In California, for example, it is compulsory for employers to conduct a COVID-19 testing program statewide if it is discovered that someone with the virus was found at the place of employment.

    Additionally, you may want to find out about the safety measures implemented around the world and find out what are the best practices you may adopt to protect your employees. For instance, in Zurich, the use of plastic visors is advised against as it creates a “false sense of security” without actually providing any form of protection unless paired with a face mask. Ultimately, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Thus, be sure to do your own research before officially resuming your QSR’s operations.

    Doing all the necessary due diligence to keep your employees safe should be the priority of your company. After all, by doing so, you are also gaining your employees’ trust as they are reassured that their company is doing the best they can to keep them safe. Moreover, public sentiments will also be favorable towards you when words get out that you are taking it upon yourself to keep the COVID-19 virus at bay.

    After ensuring that you are abiding by the relevant regulations, you can then focus on ways in which you can conduct your company’s end-to-end hiring operations safely. One thing’s for sure, the pandemic has opened doors to all kinds of digitizations for the HR department. Considering that it has dramatically improved efficiency, we think that most of these digitized hiring workflows might even stay post-COVID. Below are some tips we have gathered for you so that you can be sure to hire without compromising on your new and existing employees’ safety.

    Checklist for Safe Hiring

    1. Reduce Time-to-hire

    Speed is essential when it comes to hiring hourly workers, especially because most of them simply want to secure a job fast. It also improves their candidate experience as they will be less anxious when companies get back to them not long after they have sent their applications. 

    A way to reduce your time-to-hire is by automating a part or almost all of your hiring process. By allowing technology to do the work for you, you can get your hands on more quality candidates in a short period of time. Workstream offers various automated services which you can use to streamline your hiring process. Some of them include moving an applicant onto the next round automatically after he/she passes the background check or screening questions. As this requires little to no work from you, you are able to focus on what matters.

    2. Contactless Hiring

    With safe distancing measures set in place, it has become difficult for people to meet physically, let alone attend an interview in the QSR headquarters. To ensure that your company does not flout regulations, consider adopting a contactless hiring strategy. Allow your candidates to send a video resume so that you are able to know them better even without physically meeting them and conduct interviews virtually through Zoom sessions.  

    Additionally, as 90% of job seekers use their smartphones to look for a job, you might want to consider going mobile when hiring your prospective employees. At Workstream, we offer a text-to-apply feature that allows applicants to apply for a job conveniently through their phones.

    3. Mobile Onboarding/Training

    As mentioned previously, setting up physical appointments with your candidates can be difficult due to the current circumstance. Consider shifting your onboarding and training resources to a mobile platform so that you can minimize contact with others and at the same time, ensure their safety. Workstream allows you to onboard your new hires by sending them a text message containing relevant documents for their onboarding. Additionally, handbooks and training videos are also sent via text before they start their first day of work. To ensure that your new hires complete their mobile training, reminders will be automatically generated and sent to your new (or current) employees.

    4. Consider Other Recruiting Methods

    While recruiting through mobile means has been proven to be effective, you may also try out other recruiting methods to source out for candidates. Diversify your search so that you are able to hire only the top talent for your company. Some examples include participating in virtual job fairs or hiring events.

    Protecting Your Staff in the Workplace

    As important as it is to hire safely, measures to protect your staff after they are hired should also be strictly followed. Consider creating a checklist that has to be ticked off before (and possibly, after) your employee starts his/or her work properly. Some of the measures you may want to include are wearing face masks and hand gloves, preparing hand sanitizers for customers and staff, creating a routine for your employees to sanitize their hands after a certain period, daily temperature checks for everyone, and many more.

    Always remain mindful of the changing situation and implement your measures consistently so that your customers know what to expect too. If you are a franchise owner, be sure to work closely with the corporate branch, and vice versa, to keep up a consistent brand service and image.

    Remember to also comply with your local government’s regulations as these are often always evolving. As mentioned before, this will help improve the public’s confidence in you. Some individuals may still be wary of being out and about. Thus, implementing such measures will definitely help them patronize your QSR with a peace of mind. Additionally, your staff will gain a better employee experience since they know that they are protected and working under a responsible establishment.

    Moving into a Post-COVID World

    As we gradually move into a post-COVID world, it is important to make sure that you and your organization are not complacent when it comes to implementing safety measures. Keep up with the latest government directives and be sure to follow them. At the same time, consider following our tips above to ensure that you are hiring safely and protecting your customers, staff and brand image.

    COVID-19 has definitely accelerated the digitization of hiring processes and implementing the use of technology is imperative for you to stay ahead of the game. This will also likely improve candidate experience and interactions with the HR team will be viewed more favorably. If you are looking for ways to integrate technology into your hiring processes, look no further! At Workstream, we help you automate your hiring workflow and help you find more quality candidates in less time. Book a demo with us to find out how we can best meet your hiring needs!

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    Zakiyah Hanani

    Zakiyah is a freelance content writer. She’s a lifelong learner, looking for opportunities to expand her horizons whenever she can. She loves traveling, playing volleyball and reading up on general developments in the industry.

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